January 31, 2009

Arizona training camp

Only 2 spots are available for our Arizona training camp... The dates are Feb 22 to Feb 28 (inclusive). Send me an email (pt_performancetraining@yahoo.ca) and I will forward you all the details!


January 23, 2009

Black and White? (slightly revised)

I used to draw a lot a few years back. I still do, but not as much as I used to. The drawing below was created after taking A LOT of pictures while visiting Venice, Italy during the fall of 2001. I was there for the mountain running world championships, and had to check it out, as the race venue was only a few hours north of Venice. When I got back home, I edited a few of the pictures I had taken and drew 3 of them (this one is my favorite). I have always preferred black and white drawing over painting, and I think everything I ever created with a pencil is much better than anything I have ever created with a paint brush. I love the detail I can achieve and the depth I can create with just a few pencils. The detail of the drawing always seem to relax me, and the only thing that would keep me sitting still for more than 30 minutes!

I think it is pretty clear that the drawing above is NOT black and white... even though it may appear to be a black and white drawing, it is actually full of various shades of grey. Since I am passionate about both drawing and coaching, I would like to compare the two for a second (really, just a second :). Coaching, just like drawing, is not black and white... there are many shades of grey in there too! I have heard many coaches say that either a qualitative or quantitative approach should be taken when it comes to coaching (it is the same with sport science too...), and that things should be done in a certain way vs another way, etc... old school vs new school... analysis vs not analyzing at all... but how about combining approaches? What about everything in the middle? What about the individual approach? What about using experience, education and intuition? When you look at things in black and white you risk losing the grey... With any photo editing software, you can change the setting of a picture to 'grayscale' or 'black and white'. If you have never done that before (which I doubt, in our digital age...) - try it! It will become clear that when you look at things in black and white, many details disappear... those details are important to create a detailed, complete picture... in drawing and in coaching. Regardless of what approach you take, what 'camp' you associate yourself with, etc... try to open your eyes and use your experience and observation skills to see both the big picture and the small details, and listen to what your athletes have to say too... you might learn a thing or two ;)

I promised I will only compare drawing and coaching for a second, and I believe I used up that second... (I also need to get to a meeting...), so I will leave you to ponder this. Comments are welcome, as usual.


January 19, 2009

Whistler weekend

5 of us ventured to Whistler for a weekend of snowshoeing (and running and swimming). Here are some pictures. Stories to follow... We got to watch the nordic combined world cup (the ski jumping part). It was AWESOME!

January 14, 2009

Some other news and rambling...

The other news part of this post
The PT Performance Training coach mentoring program is now officially on its way... 6 coaches will start working under my guidance this month. If you would like to learn more about this program, send me an email!

The rambling part of this post

I don't frequent triathlon/cycling/running forums very often. In fact, I am not a big fan of them at all... but sometimes, I do stumble across them, and today was one of those times. There was one post, by a triathlete who has been experiencing tight calfs. He has an appointment with a sports doctor in two weeks and in the mean time he is posting on a triathlon forum, asking other athletes for their opinion...

I think this is a bit of a funny situation. To go on a forum/chatline and ask questions, share experiences, etc is one thing, but when it comes to injuries, etc - a forum is just not the right place! Any physiotherapist or chiropractor should be able to diagnose this athlete and give him/her exercises to treat and prevent this situation in the future (and this could have been resolved a lot faster than waiting for the doc appointment). Going to a sports doctor is nice, but not needed (in this case). I have worked with so many athletes with tight calfs... it is pretty common among triathletes and runners, and all of them got treatment and started doing some specific exercises and their calfs have been pain free ever since...

This is just one example and this is, in a nut shell, why I am not a big fan of forums... go talk to someone who is trained and have the experience to diagnose and treat injuries instead of wasting your time posting on forums, hoping that someone will have a magic pill for you to swallow and make everything all better... Besides, with all the time some athletes spend posting and following treads on various forums, they could have gotten more training in...

So, turn off your computer right now (after you finish reading this and making a comment, off course...), and go get some training in... ;) Which is exactly what I am going to do! My bike is calling my name...

January 11, 2009

Let the good (and fast) times roll!

The Pioneer 8km was held today... the first road race of the season, and the first in the Island road running series. It also happened to be the 30th anniversary for the race and some of the province and nation's top runners were in attendance. I think the top 5 speaks volumes of the quality of the field: 1. Richard Mosley (23:35). 2: Jon Brown (23:38). 3: Steve Osaduik (24:17). 4: Ryan McKenzie (24:27). 5: Scott Simpson (24:34).

Our athletes did well. Since many of them (with the exception of Wayne, Lisa, Myke, and Kate) are triathletes, they definitely showed those runners how its done :) A total of 14 PT Performance Training athletes raced. Their results are as followed (alphabetical order):

Bate Suzanne: Was sick of being sick and decided that bronchitis and the flu are no match to her... and I agree :) (1:02).

Brown Kate: Over 1 minute PB from last year's race - 36:21 (36:07 according the her watch, as results are by gun time not chip time). Another great race on the road to Boston 2009!

Comisso Amber: Is getting faster and faster with a time of 40:19

Diamond David: A cyclist recently turned runner - 36:35

Enright Wayne: Yet another PB for Wayne, with a time of 37:17.

Everett Kim: right on Dave's feet with a time of 36:38.

Lisa Feeney: Took Martin's place and ran 45:03. Well done Lisa!

Harris Mark: Has been MIA recently, but finally resurfaced today to run 52:35.

LaBelle Myke: I'm pretty sure this ultra runner was hoping the race will change all of a sudden from 8km to 80km! 28th overall and 4th in the 20-24AG at a time of 27:23.

MacMillan Matt: A bit of a tough weekend... bike testing yesterday, race today... good work! Time was 35:45

O'Meara Adam: 18th overall and 6th in the 25-29AG with a time of 26:22. Nice one!

Rae Kamal: Is new to Victoria and to our team. He crossed the line at 32:13, which is a great start to the season.

Ritchie Mark: has been running well this season, and today was no exception, with a time of 29:16.

Weaver John: 33:58. Great race after a tough week of training :)

A great day for everyone!

Till next time,


January 8, 2009


This post is a bit on the cheesy side! Below are a few of my favorite quotes. They appeal to me because they are in-line with my way of thinking towards everything - coaching, training, life... read into them what you wish, and apply them to anything you like :)

"Impossible is a word only to be found in the dictionary of the fools" (Napoleon)

"Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles" (Alex Karras)

"Excellence is not a skill, it is an attitude" (Ralph Marston)

"Defeat is not bitter unless you swallow it" (Joe Clark)

"There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction" (John F. Kennedy)

"Everyday may not be good, but there is something good in everyday" (Unknown)

"Don't lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your performance to meet your expectations. Expect the best of yourself, and then do what is necessary to make it a reality" (Ralph Marston)

"The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it" (Michelangelo)

Now step away from your computer and go train :)


January 6, 2009

5 coaching related points that just don’t make sense to me…

1. Imagine the following scenario: You finished a really hard running session. You are sore. The next day, your legs are still sore and you tell your coach that your legs are full of lactic acid. Now, if your coach happens to be me – I would tell you not to be silly… Why? Because lactic acid is not present in your body… what you are really referring to is actually called lactate and it is not responsible for your sore muscles, especially not the next day. Unfortunately, this is very likely going to be lost on most coaches…

2. Athletes buying expensive HR monitors so they can train at a certain zone. The only problem is that have no idea what zone trains what and where their zones are anyways. Hmmmm… Same goes for power meters… Which is worse because those are significantly more expensive!

3. Coaches making up new definitions for well established, basic exercise physiology terms, causing confusion. Sport scientist spend a lot of times making sure that there is consistency among certain definitions in the literature, and then some coaches just make stuff up! Well, how about coaches and sport scientist start working together? Wow, what a concept ;)

4. An athlete walks into a bike store and spends $9000 on a high-end bike. However, a professional bike fit is simply too expensive, because it will cost $120-180, and it doesn’t matter anyways because the bike will make him/her so much faster! Yeah, sure…

5. Drills, drills and more drills to become a better swimmer. Are they actually helping you improve your technique? It takes a lot of strength and fitness to hold good technique, and that’s mainly going to come from SWIMMING, not from doing a million lengths worth of drills (which is boring anyways!). Actually, the same goes for cycling and running…